Fall in Provincetown (Part I)

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Paul and I had the month of October off (between sits), so we decided to spend more time in P-town before heading south.  We found a perfect little apartment across from Carpe Diem on Johnson Street and rented it without thinking twice. 

My October Office

I loved this spot because to me, it felt like I had stepped back into the land of Anne of Green Gables, but with the Atlantic down the stairs and to the left.  Not to mention Commercial Street.  Thank you, David, for a wonderful month in your home sweet home! 

One thing Paul and I both wanted to do was spend more time exploring the Cape Cod National Seashore.  I fell in love with the Seashore while reading Joan Anderson’s books, and then the book Master of the Sweet Trade by Elizabeth Moisan, after meeting her at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod

The Cape Cod National Seashore was established as a National Park almost fifty years ago.  It is the most pristine stretch of shoreline either of us have ever seen.

"A man can stand here and put all of America behind him." Henry David Thoreau

Cape Cod National Seashore

There are eighteen remaining dune shacks along the Cape Cod National Seashore.  It is a bit of a hike to get to them.  I suggest you leave your shoes at the beginning of the trail (which is all sand) and bring plenty of drinking water.  There is a vehicle tour available if you prefer, but to be fair to all of your senses I say hike it.

Province Lands Dune Shacks

The dune shacks started out as homes for rescuers employed by the U.S. Life-saving Service in the 19th century.  If you are fortunate enough to spend some time here (temporary tenants are chosen by lottery), you will be joining the likes of Eugene O’Neil, Jack Kerouac, e.e. cummings, Norman Mailer and Jackson Pollack. 

Afternoon on the Dunes

Wild Cranberry Bog, Cape Cod National Seashore

Of course, I would love to spend more time here.  There is a bit of controversy surrounding the shacks and their (in my opinion) rightful owners…thankfully they are on the National Register of Historic Places.  If I understand this correctly, this means they cannot be bulldozed.  Dear Powers That Be, please don’t bulldoze any more shacks.  And please don’t take this magical place away from those who have owned and loved these shacks for decades, if not generations.  Thanks. 

Sophie B Hawkins at the Post Office Cafe & Cabaret

Meanwhile, back on Commercial Street…would you believe I had the luck to be in P-town during Women’s Week?  No, I am not a lesbian, but nobody seemed to mind.  There were tons of events going on. 

It was such a pleasure to see Sophie B. Hawkins live.  After the show, I was lucky enough to chat with her a bit, buy a CD, and take pics of others with her.  Yes, I wish I had asked Paul to take a pic of me with her…don’t normally care about that kind of thing but I do LOVE her and now wish I had a pic!

Bold Strokes Authors

Every day during Women’s Week, there were readings and Q&A sessions at Vixen Night Club, followed by book signings at Now Voyager Bookstore and Gallery.  What a great group of women authors!  I purchased a couple of books and look forward to reading them now that we have settled in for the winter here on Signal Mountain (TN).  Thank you, Bold Strokes for putting on this great event!  

Well.  Here I am, once more realizing that I am going on and on.  Apparently one isn’t to go on and on here in Blogsville…something about the waning attention span of the average reader.  That’s fine, because it is just about dinnertime. 

Thank you for hanging out with me….I blog for comments, so feel free to leave one.  As an added bonus, each comment you leave between now and December 1, 2010 enters you into my latest prize drawing : )

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Road Trip 2010 – (Mostly) Mississippi

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Yes, it is October, and yes, this road trip did take place throughout the month of August.  Sigh.  Still, I am determined to give you the scoop because it was such a GREAT trip!  I am now writing from lovely Provincetown, MA where we have rented a sweet apartment between sits.  Then it’s Tennessee, here we come!

Creepy. Pretty. Pretty Creepy!

After North Carolina, we drove through a bit of Georgia and spent one night in Tennessee, where we met with the homeowners we will be sitting for as of next month.  I will ply you with TN pics then…for now, on to Mississippi.  But first, what is this stuff growing over everything?  Will someone please enlighten me?  Someone familiar with the South?  Thank you.

We didn’t have much time in Mississippi – just one night.  We tried to get two, but the Inn we were staying at was fully booked.  You wouldn’t think this would be an issue, judging by the exterior of the place.  But it was, and now I know why.  On the way to Clarksdale, we stopped in Oxford for lunch.  What a cool town! 

Yes, Please

"Say, aren't you William Faulkner?!?"

Our lunch break was short and sweet and like so many places we happened upon in our travels, I wanted to know more.  However, until I can convince the S.O. (Significant Other, aka Paul) to go in on an Airstream, we’ll just have to keep movin’.

I went down to the crossroads...

We ended up in Clarksdale Mississippi because Paul and I both share a deep appreciation for blues music and wanted to find out more about the Delta blues in particular.  That, and Paul found the site for a place called the Shack Up Inn while surfing the web one day.  It was love at first click. 

Welcome to our shack for the night

We stayed in the Pinetop Perkins shack.  This (along with the rest) is an original sharecropper shack.  The Shack Up Inn is located at an old cotton plantation…Hopson Plantation.  An eye opener as to how things were not so long ago in these parts.  By the way, Pinetop Perkins is ninety-seven and still going strong. 

Pinetop mural in the living room

Shacks (from the back)

RV Art

I'll take mine silver ; )

And rusty teal

the Juke Joint Chapel

Chevy & The Cotton Gin Inn

Hopefully I have given you a good feel for the premises.  It really is one of those places you have to see for yourself.  I suggest you go there.  And now, for what we chose to do with our one night on the town…

Blue Cheese Fondue with House Fried Potatoes at Rust

Parking at the Ground Zero Blues Bar

I think I'll just grab a seat at the bar...

Razorblade takes the stage

Razorblade & Yours Truly

Ground Zero Blues Club  is just one of the local joints and I have to be honest, I did go there knowing that Morgan Freeman is a co-owner and…how cool would it be if he just happened to stop by?  What?  At least I’m being honest.  I’m not starstruck in general, but, come on…Morgan Freeman! 
 
Alas, no Mr. Freeman that night, but we did have the honor of meeting Josh “Razorblade” Stewart. 
Another unforgettable evening on the road.  Go to www.reverbnation.com/joshrazorbladestewart and have a listen.  My favorite song is “Every Goodbye Sure Don’t Mean I’m Gone”.  I can’t wait to be back in Clarksdale.

The Crossroads, made famous by Robert Johnson

Biscuits and Grits for the road at the Rest Haven Restaurant

P.S.  Thanks to you, we’ve had over 10,000 hits to this little blog; and almost 1,000 comments!  This calls for a celebration in the form of a PRIZE drawing.  Just leave a comment on ANY post ANYTIME between now and Sunday night (10/10/10 – how cool is that?) and I will announce the winner/prize first thing Monday morning : )

Celebrating Summer Solstice

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Must be Summer!

As fair as I am, I love the sun.  Without it, we would cease to exist, after all.  I also have a healthy respect for the sun; ever since my first real sunburn in my early teens.  This happened to coincide with my first real rip current experience (Hueneme Beach, CA).  Scary.  My utmost love (and respect) goes out to the sun and the sea, along with my gratitude.  The majority of my best life experiences revolve around the fire and water elements.  

For many years, I celebrated Summer Solstice all weekend long at my friend Tom’s place in the Connecticut woods.  This spot is filled with natural beauty and is the holder of many a summer memory.  It was Tom’s grandfather’s hunting lodge, and Tom and his friends have done their best to honor and maintain the character of the land and lodge.  I miss the place and the people.  

This year, Paul and I rang in summer with a Jimmy Buffett concert.  Can’t get much more summer-ish than that, methinks.   Don’t you love it when you go to a concert and the weather is just right and the people are friendly and the beer (or, in my case, wine) is cold; all taking place before the music has even begun?  

Friends + music + sunshine + pizza and beer = Solstice

As we walk through the parking lots, I am reminded of wilder times.  At one point in my life I wondered if I would ever actually “mature”.   I am happy to report that I have indeed matured, yet can still appreciate and celebrate my (sometimes) wild youth.  And that I actually survived it. 

Bead Me!

What pleased my heart and soul most was the fact that,  in spite of the hard times many of us have fallen upon, this place was absolutely packed with Parrotheads and Parakeets.  Kudos to Jimmy Buffett for keeping the party going for no less than four decades now…

"With all of our running and all of our cunning/If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane"

Of course I want to know what the Solstice means to you.  Do you celebrate it?  Do you have any fun summer plans?  We do.  They haven’t fully taken shape yet, but we are free to roam for the entire month of August.  Did you hear that, Colorado friends?  Cause we are soo headed your way…you do remember us, don’t you? 

Tell us...how do you plan on celebrating summer???

Tip: If you don’t have any fun summer plans yet, feel free to make some up.  Then promise me you will do your best to make them happen.   We all deserve some summer fun! 

A telltale sign that Paul had a good time...

And yes, it has been a while since my last contest.  So, for every comment you leave on any CC blog post from now (6/21/2010) through Sunday (6/28/2010), you will be entered to win a prize of the Celebrating Summer Solstice variety…game on and good luck!

"As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin' man/I have chalked up many a mile"...

“2010…The Year of the Friend” John Erlandson

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I love it when friends hound me about not having written a post in a while (it leads me to believe people are actually enjoying the fruits of my blog-labor.  Or, at the very least looking at pics)…

Honestly: when I hold off on the new posts, it is usually because I want to make sure everyone gets a chance to read the latest, as it may include a contest, a good cause, etc.  

Still, it has been a week since my last post.  Everyone has had plenty of time to enter the Valentine’s Day Contest (which ends TONIGHT, by the way).  So here I go…

Last weekend was spent with our good friend, John Erlandson (aka John E, aka Johnboy) from Evergreen, Colorado.  We spent the first day in Boston, which was great, aside from being the COLDEST DAY of the YEAR.  Bitter cold.  But fun! 

John E and Paul in Boston

 Apparently it was too cold for me to hold the camera steady (see above).  We warmed up with dinner and drinks at the Union Oyster House, America’s oldest restaurant, and right along the Freedom Trail.  Mmmm, chowdah…

John E at the Union Oyster House

America’s Oldest Restaurant (Established 1826)
Notice how light it was outside.  We had an early dinner, which means the drinking started a bit early as well.  Still, we managed to visit some cool places before passing out at the Bulfinch Hotel well before midnight… 

Cupcake Tower!

 John and I saw this dazzling display at Lyndell’s Bakery (since 1887!) and just had to come in, get warm, and chat with the two lovely ladies behind the baked goods counter.  John picked up some treats for us all to share later…good friend, that John E. 

Heart Day Tribute

The cupcakes and St. Valentine were both found on Hanover Street, which is located in the Italian Section, also known as the North End of Boston.  Needless to say, being there pleased me greatly. 

We had a brilliant bottle of 2004 Morgante Nero D’Avola  in Strega Ristorante, but I don’t take pictures in restaurants that have “The Godfather” playing on their bar TV.  Just sayin’.    

Quincy Market

Because it was so cold, we ended up at Quincy Market both days, mainly to get warm and grab some postcards.  I love the cobblestone streets and can’t wait to get back to the Market in the springtime, when the street performers and vendors are back!  Can’t wait to walk down the Freedom Trail with Paul, either. 

And that is what the first 24 hours with John looked like.  What did we do when we got to the House on the Bay?  We watched  concerts and movies and listened to music and went to Woods Hole and Falmouth; and then it all came to an end. 

Three days may be long enough for the guys, but it went by too fast for me : (

Union Street, Boston

Boston + Seafood = YUM

 

View from the Cah - Heading Home

Pie in the Sky, Woods Hole, Cape Cod

It was cold when we got back home, too.  Not as cold as Boston, but cold enough that my glasses were fogged up the entire time we were in this little bakery/cafe, which is about half an hour from the house.  There was a sweet little old man snoring away at the window.  Wanted desperately to take his pic, but restrained myself. 

Captain Kidd, Woods Hole

By the way, Woods Hole is known for it’s Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), which is the largest private non-profit oceanographic institution in the WORLD.  Cool, eh?

Lunch at the Silver Lounge in Falmouth

Our friend Frank used to live in this neck of the woods, and one of the first things he said to us when he found out we were caretaking in the area was “Be sure to stop by the Silver Lounge“.  The food is yum and the waitstaff friendly.  This is vintage Cape Cod and I can’t get enough.  Hoping to meet Frank and the fam here for lunch one day soon.

Sing for me, John E!

I love music and John E loves to play, so having him all to ourselves was a real treat.  I miss my musician friends something fierce, but am looking forward to seeing more great live music out this way, also.  If any of you Capedwellers is looking for some fresh from Colorado talent, just let me know and I will hook it up!   

Thank you for coming to visit, John E.  I knew it all along…you are definitely not just a “fair-weather” friend!

Milo

PS Milo says hi and thanks for the walk! (FYI – this pic was taken on a much warmer day, for all of you animal lovers out there : )